ITV Channel Television
|Based in||St Helier, Jersey|
|Broadcast area||Channel Islands|
|First airdate||1 September 1962|
|Owned by||ITV plc|
Logo used from 1999 to 2006
ITV Channel Television, previously Channel Television, is a British television station which has served as the ITV contractor for the Channel Islands since 1962. It is based in Jersey and broadcasts regional programme for insertion into the network ITV schedule. Until November 2011, Channel Television was one of four ITV companies independent from ITV plc alongside the two STV regions in Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland. It is currently owned by ITV plc. According to www.companieshouse.gov.uk, the previous two companies called "Channel Television Ltd" were converted or closed on 30 July 2012. The current legal company is "Channel Television Holdings Ltd". Unlike all other regional companies owned by ITV plc, it is not listed on www.companieshouse.gov.uk as a "Dormant company". Instead its nature of business is listed as "Television programme production activities". Also unlike the other ITV plc-owned companies, the franchise licence has not been transferred to ITV Broadcasting Ltd but remains held by the Channel Television company itself.
Until the takeover by ITV plc, Channel Television also had a responsibility to ensure independent programmes for ITV complied with the broadcaster's rules. This resulted in the station handling compliance for programmes including The X Factor, Midsomer Murders and the British Comedy Awards.
Channel Television was awarded the license for the islands in 1960 by the then regulator the Independent Television Authority (ITA). However, the ITA pointed out that the Television Act 1954 that established ITV did not include provision for the channel islands and as a result, if the ITA were to operate an ITV service there, they would have to be permitted by means of extending the Act to the islands with an Order in Council. In addition, the new channel faced the difficulties associated with connecting the channel to the remainder of the ITV network. The solution was the construction of a microwave relay station on the northern island of Alderney that would connect with another ITV station, initially Westward Television. At first, the station received difficulties in getting permission for the new mast, but these were overcome in September 1961.
Channel Television finally went on the air on 1 September 1962, the last area of the country to receive ITV and the penultimate ITV franchise to begin (the last being Wales West and North Television). It served the smallest population of any station with only around 150,000 people in 54,000 households.
1960s and 70s
The small size of Channel's audience made the station initially vulnerable to any disputes and disturbances to the ITV network as a whole. When technicians went on strike in the summer of 1968, Channel was the only station not to be affected. While the rest of the country received the ITV Emergency National Service, which undermined their regional advertising revenue, Channel was deliberately excused as it was understood the action would put the station out of business through lost revenue and reputation. While Channel did survive the 1968 strike, they were badly affected by the Three-Day Week of 1973-4 which restricted the hours of television stations to save electricity. However, Channel managed to escape the large ITV strike that blacked out the rest of the network in August–October 1979, on the same understanding as before. Channel managed to provide a service based mainly on films, archived programming and local news with the biggest problem coming from difficulties in transporting the film to their studios.
Channel also made advances during this period to enhance their service. In 1970 Channel formalised their relationship with Westward Television allowing a greater share of programming between the two channels. Channel finally converted to colour television in 1976, the last region to do so and seven years after the first. Delays were due to the cost of upgrading the studios and purchasing new equipment and the need to provide a stronger network feed. All local programmes were being made in colour by the following year with Channel donating all of their old cameras to local museums. The station was the first in Europe to introduce Electronic news-gathering (ENG) to its local new operation that removed the historic use of film.
1980s and 1990s
The new decade began with a new franchise round for the islands in which Channel was unopposed. However, there was to be a change of franchise in the South West of England with Westward being replaced by Television South West (TSW), requiring a new agreement with TSW. However, in 1986 Channel changed who they sourced their network feed from, instead changing to Television South (TVS) who served the South and South East of England from Southampton. An unexpected side-effect of this change was a disruption to serials airing on the station in the afternoon due to the serial having begun on TVS at a different time to TSW so that they were at a different point through the serial's run. For instance, Channel had to miss 172 episodes of The Young Doctors, the first nine episodes of Prisoner Cell Block H which had been screened on TVS in 1985, and it had to re-show 83 episodes of Sons and Daughters as TVS was behind TSW. The new TVS feed also meant that Channel simulcast their night time schedule following the launch of this programming area in the late 1980s. As a result, Channel's night time schedule from that point onwards always simulcast the service seen on TVS and on their successor Meridian.
During this period, the station began to invest in technology. A local service for the ORACLE teletext service began in 1981, delivering local news and information. Local news was also enhanced with the first underwater ENG camera, created for footage of a roman shipwreck, and a year later with the introduction of a computerised newsroom, the first of the ITV regions to convert.
In 1991, the station faced a new challenge: that of a new franchise round. Following the Broadcasting Act of the previous year, the allocation of regional franchises had changed to become a blind auction in which the franchise went to the highest bidder. This process was further complicated by a quality threshold, in which a higher bidder could be disqualified for having a poor business plan or if their high bid would result in a lack of funds for the programmes themselves. In the franchise round, Channel bid £1,000 (the lowest bid accepted) and were out-bid by challenge consortium CI3. This latter consortium, forming in part of ex-Channel employees, bid £102,000 and were disqualified as they failed to pass the quality threshold. Channel had won the right to continue broadcasting beyond 1993. As another consequence of the franchise round, Channel began local news broadcasts during breakfast time as part of GMTV's new service.
In 1996, Channel began a subtitling service for their local programmes.
2000 to present
In 2001, Channel were bought by the Yattendon Investment Trust, although the buy-out didn't lead to a noticeable change on screen. The buy-out occurred at the same time as the full scale amalgamation of ITV with many of the regional franchises becoming owned by one of four consortia: Carlton, Granada, United News and Media and Scottish Media Group. Channel subsequently remained one of two franchises to be not part of a consortia (the other being UTV). When Carlton and Granada (which also included the United News and Media companies) merged to form ITV plc in 2004, Channel remained notable as being independent from this new merger. Channel's independence from ITV plc also saw it retain its much loved regional non-news programmes when other regions saw these programmes dropped.
Despite being a small station, Channel took on a role in ensuring that ITV's independently produced programmes complied with the UK's guidelines and laws. On 18 May 2008, the Sunday Times newspaper reported that ITV plc was using Channel's compliance role as a loophole, enabling them to lessen a possible fine for breaching Ofcom regulations during the 2005 British Comedy Awards. During the programme Robbie Williams presented an award to Ant and Dec which should have gone to Catherine Tate who had received a greater number of phone-in votes. For this breach, Ofcom fined the broadcaster, which is worked out as a percentage of the offending broadcaster's advertising revenue. However as the programme was independently produced Channel is seen as the offending broadcaster for not ensuring compliance, despite Channel having no role in commissioning the programme. Therefore any fines received are minimal as Channel's advertising income was by far the smallest of all the ITV companies.
In early 2008, Channel began broadcasting in 16:9 Widescreen, approximately a decade after the rest of the network became widescreen capable with the launch of Digital terrestrial television. The Channel Islands also completed the switchover from analogue to digital television signals in November 2010.
In 2011, Channel Television was bought from the Yattendon Group by ITV plc. The deal was announced on 18 October, subject to approval from the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority, and was completed on 23 November. Although not announced, the deal was thought to have been worth at least £10 million. Following ITV's 2013 rebrand, Channel's presentation and the title of its news programme have been brought into line with the other ITV regions, although its non-news programming remains.
Channel Television currently operates two studio bases: the primary studio complex is located on Jersey with a second studio on Guernsey. The Jersey base, located off La Pouquelaye near St Helier, houses the main studio used for ITV News Channel TV, a studio for other local productions and a continuity studio used for Puffin's Pla(i)ce. The building was previously used by wired transmission company Rediffusion's Jersey operation. Channel moved here in 1988 from their previous base nearby at the corner of Rouge Bouillon and Val Plaisant. Constructed from scratch in 1961, it served the station from launch until the move to La Pouquelaye.
Channel's Guernsey operation currently resides in premises off Bulwer Avenue in St. Sampson, and has done so since 1997. Before this the Guernsey base was off St. George's Esplanade, Saint Peter Port, which opened in 1983.
Channel also owned a London office near to The London Studios from which they could sell their advertising space and liase with nearby ITV plc. Following the merger these London operations were merged with ITV's at The London Studios.
Channel Television's first on screen logo featured six hexagons, laid out five below linked together with one on top with a stylised cat's head inside it. The five hexagons below represent the five main channel islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. The ident was animated so that each hexagon appeared in turn accompanied by one note of the jingle along with the name. This ident lasted until colour came to the region in the mid-1970s with only one slight variation in the positioning of the channel name.
The first colour ident used by Channel involved a striped CTV, which would serve as the station logo until 1999. The first ident featured this static logo made of orange stripes on a white outline against a blue background with a soundtrack of a brass fanfare. This same fanfare was later used when Channel launched their next ident, featuring the lines of the CTV logo spinning into place, coloured gold against a black background. This was introduced around 1985 and was utilised for the stations 25th Anniversary in 1987, when each line of the CTV logo was drawn out before spinning back to be joined by a striped 25.
In the early 1990s Channel aired their first computer generated ident, featuring the CTV logo, initially silver but turned gold by two sideways flashes, falling backwards onto the gradiented blue background. This logo was accompanied by a dramatic score which was later improved, along with the ident, in 1993. The improvements kept the theme and repositioned the logo, changed the background to a navy blue, made the logo itself bigger and gold throughout and, most noticeably, improved the music making it less dramatic and giving it a softer feel.
Both during this period and before, Channel was notable for using an on-air clock. This was not uncommon in the other regions in the 1970s up to the very early 1990s, but had been gradually dropped. Channel kept the clock up to 2002, using it to introduce news and, more unusually, announce the local temperature and tide times prior to the following programme (something not seen elsewhere in the ITV network).
In 1998 Channel adopted a different feel to presentation. The CTV logo remained, both on end captions and as the company logo, while on screen Channel utilised the device of the word 'Channel' written in a variety of fonts arranged in circles and moving, spinning and pulsating to a tune of a simple jingle. This look was not to last as the second ITV generic look occurred in 1999, which Channel adopted. This look, based on the theme of hearts, also provided Channel with a new logo, featuring a globe with the Channel Islands on it being orbited by two comets whose trails make a heart shape. Channel used the generic look, albeit with their own soundtrack, until 2002. The generic look was used for network programmes with regional ones using a large Channel logo over the spinning hearts background. When the celebrity idents came Channel used a variation, where the left side of the screen was taken up by their logo. A number of idents were used featuring different celebrities and some local ones made by Channel themselves were used; in 2002 a special ident to celebrate the channels 40th Anniversary was introduced featuring former station logos.
In 2006 Channel, whilst being fiercely independent and regional, adopted a variation of the national ITV1 network branding and shared continuity, due to it receiving a non-clean feed of networked programming from ITV Meridian. While the branding was very similar to regions owned by ITV plc Channel Television used an older ITV1 logo with white letters on its idents supplemented by the wording 'Channel Television' and pre-recorded local continuity announcements are used at key junctions - including prior to national and regional news and on the handover from ITV Breakfast at 9.25am. Typically this is "This is Channel Television, ITV in the Channel Islands", or at the handover from ITV Breakfast, "It's 9:25 and you're watching Channel Television, your local ITV station". These idents also use music from the original emotion idents rather than the updated jingle and music. It was the only ITV company to take the network branding without being a part of ITV plc.
Following the takeover in November 2011 Channel began using ITV1's 2010 logo and updated its idents.
On 14 January 2013, the station's on-air identity was changed to ITV, along with all other ITV plc-owned franchises. There are no specific idents stating Channel Television but the name is instead verbally referred to at the 6pm junctions before ITV News Channel TV and overnight.
Contributions to network and multi-region series
In the late 1970s and 1980s, following the introduction of daytime television to ITV, a number of smaller regions contributed programmes to the network either as series in their own right or as episodes in the collaborative About Britain strand. This saw a number of regional contractors offer up programmes on life and culture in their part of the country - either as dedicated productions for the strand or (more commonly) as rebroadcasts of programmes originally produced for local consumption. Channel was among the regions to contribute films to the About Britain strand.
In the 1980s and 1990s Channel was among the roster of regions contributing episodes to two series which travelled the UK to broadcast each episode from a different location; these were Sunday evening religious series Highway (1983–93) and weekday morning talk show strand The Time, The Place (1987–98). Each series would have a 'home region' which would administrate and coordinate central functions (Tyne Tees Television for Highway and Anglia Television for The Time, The Place), with the production of each programme being handled by the local ITV contractor; when the shows came to the Channel Islands they used Channel's facilities.
Between 1986 and 1991 ITV's summer Saturday morning children's programming would take the form of a travelling roadshow which again would be produced by the local ITV franchise of the visited area in partnership with a 'home region' (in this case Tyne Tees). The two series which followed this format were Get Fresh (1986–88) and Ghost Train (1989–91).
Channel's most recent significant on-screen contribution to the ITV network was the gameshow Simply the Best (2004) which was produced in Jersey as a co-production between Channel and London-based Carlton Television.
- The Lonely Man (1963)
- The Bitter Years (1970)
- Jambo: The Gentle Giant (one-off documentary, 1986)
- The Dodo Club (1987-9)
- Bertie the Bat (1990)
- Island (1996-7)
- ITV plc. "Responsible Programming". ITV plc. itvplc.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- "Our History". Channel 50: 50 Years of Channel Television. ITV Channel Television. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- JERSEY ORDER IN COUNCIL 1/1962 “TELEVISION ACT, 1954 (CHANNEL ISLANDS) ORDER, 1961”.
- Wittstock, Melinda (17 October 1991). "Legal threats follow biggest ITV shake-up". Times. p. 1. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Winners and Losers". Times. 17 October 1991. p. 4. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Sale of Channel Television". Yattendon Sale. Yattendon Group. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Madslien, Jorn (2 February 2004). "ITV: A third force in broadcasting". BBC News. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Douglas, Torin (25 September 2008). "Analysis: Ofcom's regional news proposals". BBC News. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Ofcom Content Sanctions Committee". 2009-10-02. p. 11. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- ITV’s Ant and Dec vote-rigging fine to be ‘derisory’, The Sunday Times, 18th May 2008
- "Channel Islands wake to a Digital Dawn". Digital UK. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Ferguson, Leah (2011-10-18). "Channel Television to be sold to ITV plc". channelonline.tv. Channel Television. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
- Kanter, Jake (2011-11-24). "ITV completes Channel Television takeover". broadcastnow.co.uk. Broadcast. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- Tara Conlan; Mark Sweney (18 October 2011). "ITV plc buys Channel Television". Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Lucas, Brian. "Jersey’s Radio & Television Industry 1922 - 2002". www.redifussion.info. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- The Years of Channel Television press release, channeltv.co.uk, retrieved 2011-08-08
- Frowen, Rob. "Channel TV Idents". TVARK. Retrieved 5 August 2011. Contains videos of all Channels Idents.
- The Ident Gallery - Channel Television Current Idents (2011)
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